The show grew out of a trailblazing dialogue between the curators, who hail from different backgrounds. It aimed to explore the points of convergence between various art forms regardless of their respective socio-cultural contexts and the generations that produced them. The show focused on the idea that an original matrix is common to all works. This "raw material" was based on the dialectical tension between works ranging in time from the 1960s to contemporary ones made for the show. The focus was on the four basic forms of visual expression - painting, sculpture, installation and performance - contrasting and bringing together works by Philippe Parreno, Adel Abdessemed, Roni Horn, David Hammons, Roman Opalka, Lee Ufan and Marlene Dumas, to name but a few.
The third show at the Punta della Dogana since it opened, "Prima Materia" took over all the spaces, putting the Pinault Collection’s works into a new perspective.